Sugar Splitting

Sugar Splitting in a yogurt product

Recently, I have seen far too much "sugar splitting". Unhealthy ingredients, typically sugars, are being strategically placed later in the ingredient list with the intent of making the product appear healthier.

By law, ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance. From a provision in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21:

Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of a food [...] shall be listed by common or usual name in descending order of predominance by weight [...]

Through the creative splitting of ingredients, sugars are made to appear less prevalent. Here is the crafty ingredient list:

  1. Grade A Pasteurized Whole Milk
  2. Fruit Puree (Blueberries, Water, Cane Sugar, Pectin, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Locust Bean Gum)
  3. Cane Sugar
  4. Wildflower Honey
  5. Kosher Gelatin
  6. Pectin
  7. Live Active Cultures

The same ingredients presented in a "flattened" and more honest way might look like this:

  1. Cane Sugar
  2. Grade A Pasteurized Whole Milk
  3. Lemon Juice Concentrate
  4. Water
  5. Blueberries
  6. Wildflower Honey
  7. Kosher Gelatin
  8. Locust Bean Gum
  9. Pectin
  10. Live Active Cultures

It is time for an update to the regulations to eliminate this trickery. Let's keep the ingredient list flat and avoid this dishonesty.


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